Extras! Extras!

There's been a fine bibliography of news articles brewing in the comments section of an earlier post by Mighty Toy Cannon, so the wonk in me, having tracked this economic stimulus stuff with great fascination, thought it important to re-post these articles along with some other information regarding the new bill -- and the role the arts community played in making sure the arts were a part of it.

The New York Times: "Saving Federal Arts Funds: Selling Culture as an Economic Force." (Or, as the Chronicle of Philanthropy dubbed the same article, "How Arts Groups Won a Victory in the New Stimulus Measure."

“We had the facts on our side,” said Representative Louise M. Slaughter, a New York Democrat who is co-chairwoman of the Congressional Arts Caucus. “If we’re trying to stimulate the economy, and get money into the Treasury, nothing does that better than art.”

But at one point...

Arts groups feared that they had been abandoned by their Washington friends, and that they would be shut out of the recovery entirely. Asked about her vote after the [Coburn] amendment’s passage on Feb. 6, Ms. Feinstein said through a spokesman that she was still “a strong supporter of the arts” but felt that the stimulus bill “should invest in critical national infrastructure."*

The Wall Street Journal: "The Arts Need Better Arguments," by Greg Sandow.

The arts are going to need a better strategy. And in the end it's going to have to come from art itself, from the benefits art brings, in a world where popular culture -- which has gotten smart and serious -- also helps bring depth and meaning to our lives. That's the kicker: the popular culture part. Once we figure that out, we can leave our shaky arguments behind and really try to prove we matter.

Crosscut.com: David Brewster at addresses how Washington State may address economic stimulus related to the arts.

The Art Newspaper: András Szántó discusses potential arts policy shifts under Obama.

And lastly (until further updates, at least): Americans for the Arts has assembled a smart list of 11 "Items of Interest" in the economic stimulus package. It's an important reminder that arts and culture stand to benefit from more than just the NEA's $50 million.

* Incidentally, I did call Senator Wyden's office yesterday to ask if he had any comment on why he voted for the original Coburn Amendment, but I haven't gotten any quote back. I also asked his press secretary how many letters they had received asking Sen. Wyden to restore arts funding in the final bill (we know that nationally, more than 80,000 letters or emails were written), but I was told that they "like to keep their conversations with their constituents private," and while he wouldn't give me a number, he did say, "a lot."

1 comment:

Unknown said...

An excellent roundup. Thanks, CJ.